That's how I felt.
I wrote this article for the first time earlier today. And it took me nearly two hours.
And then my computer froze and the dreaded-dread-thing happened. I had to restart the computer and when I returned to the article everything was blank.
I called in my better-than-I-am-at-computers-son who was home from school with a fever and asked for his help, but no matter what we did, the words were irretrievable.
I know... I know. Such a small thing in the scheme of life, but for a mom with four kiddos and a full plate, the exasperation rose quickly. My son watched to see what my response would be.
A few weeks ago, I sat in a parking lot and cried with a close friend who answered her phone and was swallowed by the weight of heavy and life altering medical results. We wept and prayed and felt numb and were washed over with grief as our minds went in a thousand directions imagining her future.
This week was laced with friends whose children are struggling, with families impacted by past sins, with ministry weariness, and a tad bit of physical sickness in our own home. And I watched my Grams who once was capable and quick, relinquish another piece of autonomy in her battle with dementia, the woman with whom I've held whole libraries of conversations, struggle to retrieve simple words and phrases.
What do we do, when in big or small ways, this life doesn't go the way we want it to or had hoped it would? Where do we turn? Where do we look?
When I see the struggles in this world, it produces in me a longing for Heaven, for a forever where I will no longer echo Paul's words-- "I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate" (Romans 7:15). I long for the day when my own sinful nature will be completely destroyed and the battle that wages within me and those I love will be over.
I long for the day when sickness and all physical and mental and emotional wounds will be healed. When we will be with Christ and all tears will be wiped away. Rejoicing and praise and thanksgiving will reign and I long for that day. Because "according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:13).
We are studying 1 Peter this year. Over and over God, through the words of Peter, reminds us to be prepared, be ready, be watchful, be waiting, be anticipating-- eternity. Because Heaven changes everything. It shifts our dreams, our goals, our direction. Heaven moves us to invest in what will endure forever. Heaven gives us courage to sacrifice for what will last forever, "so that the tested genuineness of (our) faith...may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7).
We live now-- faithfully, presently, and preparedly with our eyes and hearts and minds aware of eternity.
Heaven offers hope in both the big and small hurts of life.
In the small things, like accidentally deleting an entire article, it offers perspective.
"When circumstances rise to levels of importance way beyond their actual importance, they exercise more control over us than they should ... The resurrection of Jesus and the hope of forever give us a sense of priority and proportion." ~Paul Tripp
And in the heavy things, like the loss of a child or fear-inducing medical results, it offers the only real solid anchor we can cling to.
“Peace is found only in knowing that this world is meant to prepare us for the next and that the temporary pleasures and pains of this world are not our final address. When we live knowing that the God of grace will lift us out of this broken world and is now readying us for the world to come, we can face difficult without wanting to give up and experience pleasure without becoming addicted to it. We live with hope in our heart, eyes to the future, and hands holding this present world loosely.” ~ Paul Tripp
Looking to eternity is not a quick bandaid to slap over deep pain. It is a solid rock that we can rest on when we feel we are drowning in the waves of grief, sorrow, persecution, sickness, or sorrow. According to God's great mercy, "He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in Heaven for (us)" (1 Peter 1:3-4).
My prayer for us today is that we would live with longing, readiness and a hope that is anchored in God's promise of Heaven for those who call upon the name of His Son. I pray it would change how we respond now... in the big trials, but also the small annoyances.
May we all find refuge and encouragement as we hold fast to the hope set before us. May it be a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul in each one of our lives.
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